Columns

Mon
21
Jul

Judicial Review: the approaches at issue

The role of the courts has received a lot of attention following hearings at the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the law commonly known as “Obamacare.” Many, including the President, have discussed something called “judicial review.” Judicial review refers to a power held by the courts to decide if a law violates the Constitution or not. If the law violates the Constitution, the courts will “strike down” the law declaring it invalid.

Tue
15
Jul

Easy ways to stay cool, save energy

As we enter the hot days of summer with temperatures over 90 degrees, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources reminds consumers of some simple no-cost or low-cost energy-saving tips to help keep cool, conserve energy, an

Thu
10
Jul

A plea for sane lawn watering

Remember back in grade school when the kid in front of you at the drinking fountain would slurp away for what seemed like an eternity until finally someone screamed, “Save some for the whales!?” Well, I’m betting that kid grew up, bought a house with a big lawn, and programmed his automatic sprinklers to go off every other day, regardless of whether it is raining or not. He’s probably sitting in his living room right now, watching the rain slide down the window panes as the sprinklers rhythmically pulse outside, and thinking, “Ain’t no one going to tell me to turn off the water now.” I mean, there has to be a logical explanation for people who water their lawns in the rain, right?

Thu
10
Jul

Extradition & the long-arm of the law

“You can’t outrun the long-arm of the law.” That was a popular refrain from a Kenny Rogers song from many years ago.  Fugitives from justice can understand the idea of the long-arm of the law through a legal process known as extradition. Extradition deals with one State returning someone to another State to stand trial or to be sentenced in a criminal court action.

Mon
07
Jul

So much for sumo

It’s a crushing blow when you learn that an institution you hold sacred is nothing but a sham. For some, it was the tooth fairy. For others, it was the wizard of Oz or a balanced federal budget or chiropractors. For me, it was between-innings sumo wrestling.

Mon
07
Jul

Make a rewarding credit card choice

You’re ready to sign up for a new credit card that seems to promise a host of appealing rewards. But, are you really sure of what the card has to offer or how it compares with other options? Many people are not, according to a J.D. Power survey, which found that only 59 percent of credit card customers feel they “completely” understand how they earn rewards. Another one-third knew nothing about the benefits related to their credit card.

Thu
03
Jul

Finding inspiration at the FamilyMeans St. Croix Valley Garden Tour - July 12-13


A dry creek leads water downhill to a large raingarden outside of Ellen Johnson’s Lake Elmo home. (Submitted photo)

Marilee Tangen can’t remember why she decided to reinvent her yard, but thinks that she was probably influenced by living in the Seattle area before moving to Minnesota.

Tue
01
Jul

Falcon Woods 30th annual parade


The Falcon Woods 30th annual parade takes place at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 4.

In 1984, which was the first year of the first Falcon Woods 4th of July parade, I moved into a new housing development in Falcon Heights called “Falcon Woods” with my family.

Sat
28
Jun

Beware of voice phishing—or “vishing”—calls

It is difficult to ignore a ringing telephone. While fraudulent emails and junk mail can be deleted or tossed in the trash, telephone calls are tougher to tune out. And because telephone calls are still considered a secure form of communication, voice phishing scams take advantage of consumers’ trust to steal money and personal information.

Thu
26
Jun

Minnesota ban on triclosan may have broader impact

Although many people have never heard of triclosan, most of us have it in our bodies. Triclosan is an antimicrobial chemical that was added to consumer products including soaps and toothpaste several decades ago and marketed as a benefit for users because it could kill bacteria. It was a successful advertising tool, and has been used by so many personal care product companies that for a time, it was difficult to find a liquid hand soap that did not contain triclosan.

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